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Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: Harnessing a Capo’s Unique, Sparkling Magic

A “capo”—short for capotasto, which means “principal fret” in Italian—is a device used to shorten the vibrating lengths of a guitar’s strings; when fitted behind a given fret, it stops the strings at that point, as if you were barring a finger across them, while creating a new “nut,” or “zero fret,” in the process freeing up all four fingers.

The Genius of Guitarist Chet Atkins — Lesson with Tab and Video

Chet Atkins made countless recordings as a studio musician, producer and solo artist. Many of his recordings — particularly those of the artists he produced in Nashville, like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers — laid the foundation for early rock and roll.

Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: Pat Metheny's Enigmatic Acoustic Work

For 40 years, Pat Metheny’s musical path has continuously evolved, embracing acoustic, electronic and symphonic sounds, pitting him alongside disparate luminaries like David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Ornette Coleman, Steve Reich, Bruce Hornsby, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock.

Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: The Surreal Soundscapes of Singer-Songwriter and Visual Artist Joseph Arthur

Back in 2000, in Los Angeles’ Conga Room, as a guest of a Virgin Records publicist, I had my mind blown by my friend’s new client, singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur. When actress Rosanna Arquette came onstage for a duet on Arthur’s “Invisible Hands,” I was hooked.

Lesson: The Acoustic Artistry of The Beatles' George Harrison

Of the four Beatles, George Harrison brought to the group an assortment of electric and acoustic guitar approaches, flavors influenced by everyone from Chet Atkins and Carl Perkins to the Byrds and Bob Dylan.

Hole Notes: The Acoustic Stylings of the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia is best known as the lead guitar player and primary singer/songwriter of the Grateful Dead. Though they are regarded as pioneers of the “jam band” genre that rose to prominence in the late Sixties, the Grateful Dead, unlike many of their counterculture contemporaries, never faltered with the changing times.

Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: The Complex and Groovy Fingerpicking of Guitarist/Actor Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed (1937–2008), known by many as Burt Reynolds’ truck-driving partner in crime in the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, was also a highly accomplished and influential guitar picker. Let’s look at some of the technical and stylistic elements that made Reed a great player.

Robert Johnson's Ferocious Guitar Style — Lesson with Tab and Audio

Regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Delta blues wizard Robert Johnson recorded only 29 songs (plus 13 alternate takes, in two sessions) during his 27 years of life. They were cut when he wasn’t playing for tips on street corners, in juke joints or in front of barbershops and other commercial establishments.

Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: The Inimitable, Soulful Guitar Style of Joseph Spence

What happens when you mix bluesy, Robert Johnson–style fingerpicking and tropical “Calypso” grooves, with repertoire consisting of spiritual hymns and sea shanties sung by a gruff-voiced, scat-singing, foot-stomping stonemason? You get the inimitable Joseph Spence (1910–1984)

Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: The "Folk Baroque" Stylings of John Renbourn

On March 26, 2015, the guitar community lost a legend: progressive folk master and founding member of Pentangle, John Renbourn, a picker who literally did what he loved—playing and teaching—up until the end. Let’s pay our respects to Renbourn with a retrospective look at his influential solo output.